For over 8 years, the first molar on the bottom right has been giving me trouble. It's stopped me from enjoying cold, hot, sugar, chocolate, etc. In more recent years, it's caused me to try and avoid chewing on the right. Over the last week or so, it's caused INTENSE and non-stop pain...so much so that I couldn't even sleep. That all ended yesterday.
I made the decision to suck it up and go to the dentist. He said the tooth was always very sensitive, and there was a massive cavity in it that was down to the root. Options: root canal and crown/cap or extraction. Obviously I'm not a toothless bum.
Root canal was pretty painless. He had to give me 3 extra novocaine shots (2 more in the jaw and 1 directly into the tooth), but I didn't feel any pain. Basically, he drilled away most of the tooth and then (the long part) drilled 4 holes, measured the depth of the roots, sawed away with these circular looking saw things, filled it in with these golf tee looking things, and then applied a temporary filling made of some gummy white material. I go back to finish the procedure (which will be painless since the root is gone) later this month.
I took my first drink this morning (water). I can't believe to tell you how great it feels to just....drink. No worries about water falling over the tooth. I swished water around and didn't feel a thing. I can't wait to eat. No pain in the tooth now that the novocaine wore off, but you can feel that there was work done (in the gums and below the tooth)...it's more like the feeling that food is stuck inbetween the tooth. You can completely ignore it and it doesn't "hurt", per se. Should be gone soon.
1) He explained to me the cycle. You get out of high school, you drop your parents insurance, and the last thing on your mind are 6 month checkups and dental work. Even if a problem arises, you don't have the money for it...so you just don't go. Then years later in your early to mid 20s, you go in with a TON of problem and it costs thousands.
2) If your tooth hurts, go to the freaking dentist...even without insurance. A $50 filling is less than a $1500 root canal/cap/crown.
3) Root canals are not painful. You may get an infection or have your gums sore, but it's not as much pain as a hot nerve throbbing. If it hurts with your dentist, find a new dentist.
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